Heart Pain Should Not Be Confused With A Heart Attack

heart pain should not be confused with a heart attack
heart pain should not be confused with a heart attack

While running, climbing stairs or climbing a hill… In cold weather, especially when walking in the wind… After a heavy meal or experiencing a sudden sadness or anger… Sometimes during sexual intercourse… With the triggering of these factors; Heart pain that develops in the middle of our chest, above the bone called the “faith board”. An intense pressure, a feeling of heaviness occurs. Sometimes it manifests itself as a burning sensation in the same area, that is, in a wide area in the middle of the chest. This pain develops not in a small point, but in an area the size of a fist. Sometimes it can spread to the neck, left arm or back; It can rarely be felt on the abdomen or lower jaw. Depending on the underlying cause, it can last 2-3 minutes, and it can take longer than 20 minutes. The name of this problem that worries almost all of us; heartache!

Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy, most of us 'am I having a heart attack?' Stating that the underlying cause of every heart pain that causes anxiety is not a heart attack, “Heart pain refers to a kind of chest pain caused by the decrease in blood flow to the heart. Contrary to popular belief, not all heartache indicates a heart attack. However, heart pain can be caused by an important health problem. In addition, if the pain is caused by the onset of a heart attack, early treatment is life-saving. For this reason, it is vital to never take it lightly and consult a physician, ”he says. So what problems does heart pain indicate? Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy described 5 diseases that cause heart pain; made important suggestions and warnings!


Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy states that the most common and most serious cause of heart pain is 'atherosclerosis', which is known as 'arteriosclerosis' in the society. To this table; Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and genetic factors cause it. A plaque layer called atherosclerotic plaque forms on the inner surface of the vessel and this layer causes narrowing in the vessel lumen (space inside the vessel). As a result, the amount of blood and oxygen that goes to the heart begins to decrease. If left untreated, the plaque can grow, detach, and clot sit on it. In this case, the picture called heart attack emerges.

Vascular spasm

Another less common cause of heart pain is the spasm of the coronary vessels, that is, the narrowing of the lumen. Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy stated that the spasm disappeared and the pain disappeared when the sublingual tablet was taken in this table called prinzmetal angina, “Regular medication use is of great importance in order to prevent the recurrence of spasm. Because the spasm is not treated and if it recurs, it can cause permanent damage to the heart tissue. " says.

Heart anomalies

Congenital cardiovascular anomalies can cause heart pain, especially in young people. Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy warned that the congenital absence of some vessels or their emergence from a different place than normal or their movement within the heart muscle may cause serious problems and said, "Sometimes an important reason for the sudden deaths of athletes on football fields is these congenital vascular anomalies." says.

Muscle bridge disease (Myocardial Bridge)

Again, typical heart pain occurs in the congenital condition called 'muscle bridge disease'. The coronary artery squeezing when the heart muscle contracts and one of the blood vessels feeding the heart results in heart pain. If the pain continues despite the medication, the situation should be corrected with surgery.

Syndrome X

In this disease called Syndrome X, typical pain that starts when effort is made and goes away with rest develops. This condition, which does not pose a vital problem and is seen especially in postmenopausal women, is thought to be caused by problems in very thin capillaries called microvascular vessels.

When and what treatment for heart pain?

Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy emphasizes that the treatment is determined according to the underlying cause of the pain and explains these methods as follows:


When coronary artery stenosis is suspected in heart pain, coronary angiography is performed first. "Coronary angiography is actually an imaging procedure we do to view coronary vessels under local anesthesia." Saying, Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy states that if there are critical and serious stenoses in the vessels, the treatment process is started. If the stenosis is suitable for stenting, balloon and stenting can be performed in the same session with angiography. In other words, the procedures performed in the continuation of the angiography provide opening in the vein.


Not every stenosis in the vessels may be suitable for stenting. In this case, the bypass method is needed. Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy, "If the strictures are very common, that is, if there are many vascular involvement or if the strictures involve a very long segment, so if the lesions are not suitable for the stent, then we recommend by-pass operation." says. Whether it is a stent or a by-pass, lifelong drug treatment is required after both treatments.


Very rarely, the patient cannot be stented or bypassed. In this case, intensive drug therapy is recommended. Among these drugs, there are special drugs developed to relieve heart pain and improve the quality of life.

Lifestyle changes

“Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease. After it starts, it can spread gradually in the arteries. For this reason, the treatment is not completed after the stent is placed. " provided by Assoc. Dr. Şükrü Aksoy continues as follows: “If we do not take some preventive measures, strictures may occur in other veins or in another part of the same vein. The first of the preventive measures; Medicines that should be used regularly and should not be disrupted for life. The second is to implement lifestyle changes. We can summarize these as quitting smoking, eating a Mediterranean diet, a diet low in cholesterol and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and regular exercise. We strongly do not recommend heavy exercises such as running or lifting weights as exercise. Half an hour of brisk walking a day is enough. "

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